Sunday, October 26, 2008

My shredder's name is Chompsky

Friday night I went out with my book club and saw a movie, and Saturday I went to my Virginia Woolf workshop. The rest of the weekend was engaged thusly:

  • 2.25 bags of shredded paper
  • 4 bags of trash
  • 2 bags of recycling
  • 1 box of donatables
  • 1 novel (that makes three this week)
  • 1 overhauled file box
  • 1 sorted bathroom counter
  • 1 sorted junk drawer
  • 1 sorted refrigerator top
  • 1 bag of books sold
Earlier this week, I couldn't fit a single sheet of paper in.

Here is where it went

Hobbes inspects my work (his white kidgloves are obscured)

Which item does not belong?

What was once a pile of indiscernable food, boxes and small appliances...

Much of this was done now because next weekend, NaNoWriMo begins, and I can't have any excuses to *not* write, among all the other millions of things I'll have going on. This year, I have Grayson in on the action...woohoo! Wish us luck!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It was an ordinary Thursday... most others...

I went to work,

then I went to Fremont.

Had tempura for dinner...

...while I read books before my French class.

Walked along the canal to my French class.


Went to French class, then home, then sleep. The End.

Saturday, Grayson and I went on a craaazy adventure to the outskirts of Seattle, into the BURBS! Grayson had to take his GRE in Mountlake Terrace, and I, as the ever-necessary navigator, was elected to come along, and find a way to kill four hours in Mountlake Terrace. No easy feat. There was NOTHING around, except for a couple of restaurants, more casinos, and a solid waste plant! Woohoo. I had to walk two miles to find a coffeeshop, technically to a different town, Edmonds. I read books, drank chai, and walked all the way back just in time to meet Grayson, who scored an AWESOME 1490 on the GRE. Then we took a two hour bus ride through Shoreline (the fourth town I had been in that day) to Northgate, and transferred to a bus home. It was a wild adventure that consisted in next to nothing.

An open letter to the citizens of Mountlake Terrace:

Dear Citizens of Mountlake Terrace,

Please tell me what you do for fun on a normal day?

Yours truly,

Today, Grayson and I walked to Wallingford to see W. It was okay, funny at parts, though mostly a poorly written, not entirely well-casted movie in which I couldn't really tell what the filmmakers were trying to accomplish. Meh. I should have known from the preview that my favorite scene would be the slow-mo, almost-undoing-of-our-Pres-by-a-pretzel scene.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Burn Your Computer After Reading

Now that the weather is cooling, and fall is encroaching, my list of things to see is dwindling. Alki Beach is still on the list, and the weather this weekend would have been nice (if one was not swimming), but rumor had it that some event was going down and it would be packed. Other than that, I still want to see the Ikea store, the neighborhood called Georgetown, Kobuta Gardens, Kabaret Verboten at Can-Can (which I'll never be able to drag Grayson to), Gregorian chanting at St. Mark's (a huge cathedral in Capitol Hill), and possibly, maybe, Mt. Rainier, though I'm not much of an outdoorsy person, it's probably prettier to look at from the city than to go to ;) There are also TWO more shops for cupcakes I need to hit. Also: three more renowned coffee shops, and Grayson and I are planning a jaunt to Victoria and Vancouver for his birthday.

This weekend, there were three things in three different parts of town that I wanted to do within the space of a few hours. I have enrolled in a Virginia Woolf reading class that lasts for 6 weeks, in Capitol Hill, from 10-2 on Saturdays. We are reading Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse. This Saturday was the first meeting, and there was also supposed to be a National Novel Writing Month (November) meetup for people who are writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days (which means a 1,667 words a day goal, which takes me 1.5-2 hours, I have written two parts of one big novel this way, and am planning on participating this year, as I have an idea for a new novel to write) in the U-District at 11, and Chris Onstad, the creator of my favorite web comic, was going to be in Wallingford at 2. I managed to go the class, which was GREAT, then straight to Wallingford where Grayson and I met and went to the signing. There was a huge long line of fellow nerds, some asked poor Chris stupid, annoying questions. We got an issue of the zine he has created in the voice of his characters signed to both of us. He was very nice, and I asked him if he would ever bring back one of my favorite characters, Ultra-Peanut, who has been MIA for 6 years. He responded positively, which makes me happy. Rumor had it he was going to hang out after the signing, but I didn't feel like finagling the crowd of drooling fans (among whom I definitely count myself, Onstad is a genius), so we walked home and hung out for a while,

had German street food for dinner,

and went to see Burn After Reading, which was hilarious (from the Coen brothers!) and gross (who brought you the delightful woodchipper scene in Fargo). It was playing at a few theaters here, but we chose the Seven Gables Theater, because it's one we haven't been to, and it was quite a place, it only has one screen, and it's all built into this ancient, gorgeous Victorian house. It was very cool.

Today, I want to try port (which they sell at Safeway here, whoa!)

Aussi, le dimanche je nettoyer mon apartement. Which reminds me: part of what has been occupying a great deal of my time is a French class I'm taking. Tuesdays and Thursdays, I leave work a little early, come home, eat dinner, change clothes, and take a 20 minute bus ride, along a hill overlooking Lake Union and the downtown skyline, then the Fremont troll, to Fremont, then I walk for ten minutes in the twilight past the 3400 Phinney chocolate factory, the Fremont Outdoor Cinema, and the Canal (very Euro) to the Seattle Language Academy, for an hour and a half of French. The class is small, and very helpful, and fun. I have a bundle of phrases under my belt already and it's only been two weeks. I want to spend time in the interim before I go back for my English degree studying a language (as well as reading the classes), so this is part of reaching that goal. After class, I walk back to the bus stop in the dark, and wait 30 minutes for the next bus (all this waiting and extra commute sure help cranking through those classics), come home, and crash. On my non-class days, I strive (and usually manage) for an hour of studying. Now, between my Saturday class, my Tuesday and Thursday class, and the soon to dominate my life National Novel Writing Month, in addition to working full time, will certainly prove taxing. I find however, that it seems that the more I pile on my plate, the more I tend to actually manage my time properly and get everything done. Though this many things on my plate may be a different beast. All of it does help to meet people, though.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Atheism, Legos, Guitars, and Lasers

Natasha's pretty busy right now so I've been authorized to make a post in her stead this week. We will see how this goes.

Things continue to go swimmingly, with lots of fun activities on the weekends to keep it interesting. We are running out of places to explore, but there's always something new going on, so as long as we've got the cash, we're never bored.

Friday night we met up with the Seattle Atheists again. The occasion: the release of Bill Maher's movie Religulous. We met up at P.F. Chang's for dinner, had a great meal with good company (met a guy who spent the last 3 years teaching English in South Korea, with plenty of interesting stories), and walked to the theater. The movie was OK, not very intellectually rigorous, but very amusing if you're the atheist/agnostic type. Bill Maher, as you might expect from a comedian, delivers on the humor if not the philosophy.

Kitty is about to be sans manhood! He goes in tomorrow to have his operation. Our veterinarian is either a) for the paranoid upper middle class person who will spend anything to guarantee a pet's health, or b) a complete scam. Or both. Anyways, they require a blood test to determine if kitty's kidneys are up to the anesthesia. No other vet I've ever heard of is daring enough to invent these kinds of reasons to charge an extra $130. At least the actual procedure is subsidized by the state. The surgery ends up costing less than the blood test. Unfortunately there are no other vets in our range, and it already costs big money just to take a taxi to this one, so we have to make do.

I mention this because that blood test thingy was last Saturday. Also on that day we took a trip to Madison St to check out Piroshki, a Russian deli type restaurant (also the name of the type of food they serve). We found a place called Piroshki Piroshki in Pike Market, which sells (tada) piroshkis, but Natasha claims they are not genuine. I could care less, because they are amazing. Rather than explain the whole concept of piroshki, I will let you read about them here.

Anyways, Natasha claims that the Piroshki place on Madison is authentic, but what do yo know, their business hours are basically 9-5 M-F. Which means that, unless we get time off of work, we will never be able to go. Perhaps one day...

Sunday was BrickCon - a LEGO convention! Nostalgia heaven! Try that in Boise!

Right when you go in the door, they have a model of the Titanic about 6 feet long and 2 feet wide:

Further in, you get to see some amazing scenes. There were fairy tales, Vikings, medieval battles, dragons attacking castles, trains moving through cities, models of the Space Needle, and much much more:

And my favorites, the Battlestar Galactica models:

Many, many other things, including a replica of a Giger painting, and a model of the Space Needle taller than me (including a working elevator).

We also visited the Experience Music Project and the SciFi museum (both located in that very strange looking building next to the Space Needle). I got to play a bass again (been a very long time!!!). Saw some really neat stuff in both - Kurt Cobain's guitar from the Smells Like Teen Spirit video, quite a few of Jimi Hendrix's guitars, memorabilia from Seattle's entire musical past right back to the gold rushes of the 19th century, and much more. The SciFi museum was even better (especially for a nerd like me) - I got to see first editions of some very famous novels, and props/clothing from old televisions shows and movies. Very cool. Photography is banned in both places, so unfortunately no pics.

Natasha finally got her passport in the mail today, which she is very excited about! Europe is one step closer...